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Old October 19th, 2020, 05:38 PM #3
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacksmith101 View Post
Gunpowder Manufacturing Between 1850-65 is a talk given by Maj. David Lambert that was on C-Span today Jan.1, 2020.

West Point history instructor Major David Lambert discussed how gunpowder was outsourced and manufactured in the mid-19th century. The New York Military Affairs Symposium hosted this event.

Here is the link (1 Hour and 40 Minutes):
https://www.c-span.org/video/?457655...turing-1850-65

If you are interested in Civil War History or Black Powder this is a good video.
Just starting to read the MDS Black Powder forum threads recently and saw this post of yours from the beginning of the year. The episode is still available and was excellent. Watched it this past weekend.

One of the main historical arguments that he is making is that the Confederate side, despite having an excellent powder production facility in Augusta, also needed to source their powder abroad, and were buying from the British. However the British sold them either a substandard product or one that got reduced in potency during shipment. This resulted in Confederate artillery and such having inconsistent ranging in trying to determine both where their projectiles would land but for some, how long a fuse to set. By contrast, it sounds like the product obtained from Augusta was very consistent. What I didn't understand was why these products weren't labeled differently, such that adjustments could be made based on which powder was used. Because the talk was only a little over an hour (followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A), he probably didn't have time to give a more detailed explanation.

Notably, he also put forward that the Union was winning both the battle of logistics but also made shrewd moves to corner the market on saltpeter and farmed out the powder production to commercial entities (like the nascent Dupont corporation), while controlling their saltpeter allotment (with the threat to take it to other commercial manufacturers if the product was substandard). As a result, their powder was far more consistent giving them an enormous tactical advantage on the battlefield. It was also less expensive.

Fun talk. Thanks for the link
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